Bonsai Bar Bistro

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
Bonsai Bar Bistro
46 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DZ
  • Telephone 0131 668 3847
  • Seasonal times August: open till 11pm
  • Food served Sun–Thu noon–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–10.30pm.
  • Website
Photo of Bonsai Bar Bistro

Neighbourhood institution specialising in small plates of classic Japanese food, with a revolving specials board to keep things interesting.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Bonsai brought its tapas-style sushi dining to Edinburgh almost twenty years ago and it’s still going strong. The small, casual dining room is adorned with quirky artwork, Japanese lanterns, and an illuminated specials board showcasing seasonal creations. It's here you’ll find choices like hotate karaage: lightly fried scallops with paper thin golden beetroot and tangy ponzu sauce, or Thai-style sea bream gunkan with its punchy lime and chilli kick. The standard menu is broken into sections including teppanyaki, agemono, dumplings, and various sushi, sashimi and maki. The food isn’t refined but it’s certainly tasty and swiftly served by friendly staff. Portions are small but so are the prices, encouraging diners to try a variety of dishes, while the weekday set lunch deals are a steal and make Bonsai a popular haunt for students. There's good Japanese beer, or try something different and go for one of the cocktails made with shochu, tonic, and various fruit flavours.

The List's rating






Rachel Kavish Wheatley visited Bonsai Bar Bistro on 26 February 2019
  • High point: Coconut pannacotta with pineapple, chilli, and basil salsa
  • Low point: The décor and small tables feel a bit tired
  • Notable dish: Beef with shitake mushrooms and chilli
  • Average price: £9.95 (bento box – not available Fri/Sat evening from 5pm); £15 (dinner)
  • Delivery:
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Outdoor tables
  • Music on stereo: World music
  • Capacity: 32 (20 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 40
  • Open since: 2000
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
  • House wine: £16.95 per bottle
  • BYOB: £5 corkage